Much has been talked about the service orientation of the Cloud and how it changes the head of accounting from CAPEX to OPEX on computing infrastructure.  More important is the fact that Cloud computing brings in its wake a “service orientation” to computing. This orientation is the first step in the direction of quality service delivery with a customer focus.

What is quality service delivery?  What will be its components?  An off-the-cuff listing will certainly include:

  1. Impregnable data security
  2. Effective Business continuity and disaster recovery provisioning
  3. Data life cycle management with a single window interface
  4. Multi-mode data storage protocols
  5. No latency service delivery
  6. Portability
  7. Instant, bare-metal recovery
  8. 24 x 7 multi-access support system

In addition to the above list, there may be many more factors that your organization may consider essential.  The list can be as long or as short as the organization desires, depending on the skill level of its personnel and computing history.

The type of cryptographic algorithm used will determine whether the security is impregnable or not. FIPS 140-2 is a third party certification of cryptographic algorithms. It is accepted world wide as a quality certification. Many Cloud backup vendors submit their algorithms for FIPS 140-2 certification to demonstrate that their algorithm is impregnable.

Most Cloud backup services integrate their Business Continuity (BC) and Disaster Recovery (DR) systems with the High Availability (HA) provisioning with single window management interfaces. As a result, effective BC and DR provisioning systems set up by Cloud backup and recovery services include data mirroring, server replication, server clustering, and creating multi-level backups of data, including creation of local backups on vendor specified devices or otherwise.  The geographic dispersion of storage servers ensure that service delivery is smooth and data / application latency is reduced over the Internet as data is served up from the server nearest to the point of service request.  Bare metal recovery of data will vary between services.

Data portability between Cloud services is a more recent concept. Very few Cloud backup services are ready to cater to this need. It is expected that the demand for this type of service will gain momentum as Cloud adoption increases manifold.

The type and quality of support services provided by the Cloud backup vendor ultimately distinguishes one service from another all other things being equal. Organizations that are budget strapped and cannot hire skilled personnel to resolve their computing issues will look towards the vendor for “quality service”. Others may regard this as a desirable bonus.